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Frank Leighton
 
STEAM Teacher
 
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA
Masters in Educational Technology from Radford University, Radford,  VA
 
Certified K - 6
 
This will be my tenth year at Belle Heth.
 
STEAM has relocated over the summer to its new home: the Qualcomm Inspired Thinkabit STEAM Lab! We will still be doing STEAM activities related to the curriculum in your classroom and different themes throughout the year. We will continue working to see how people (not just engineers) solve programs and design/make/test items. We will be doing more coding/programming and using Arduinos. Arduinos are microprocessors and controllers that you program to perform various activities. They can do a lot! As always, I expect you to be safe, creative, respectful of others and materials, and have fun. Mistakes are part of learning (even Einstein made them) so do not be afraid to try.
 
I committed myself to graduate from James River High School many years ago. The importance of a good education was stressed by my family. My mom graduated from high school but my dad never did. After high school, I attended Dabney S. Lancaster Community College before moving on to Virginia Tech. With a lot of hard work and support from family and friends, I committed myself to complete my degree there. After working numerous years in the "real world", I again ventured back to school, this time at Radford University. Going back to school and working was a difficult challenge but I again committed myself to doing this, receiving my masters degree and getting my teaching license. My mom and Dr. Gary Ellerman, my mentor at RU, were the two most influential people that gave me the confidence and "attaboy's" to do this.
 
As this year begins, I thought of the time when I was in elementary school back at Buchanan Elementary. The world seemed so different than today. Benchmark testing and SOLs didn't exist but the dedication of all teachers to help each student excel did. I remember hearing one of my teachers say that they learned with us. I didn't get it then but do now as a teacher. This year I look forward to seeing the smiles of those "aha moments" and sharing with with kiddos what I know as I learn from them.

I am excited for a new year and hope you are too!